The City of Williams Lake is considering re-branding itself as a Republic of something or other; well, as far as I know, it never officially has had a brand.
When I ran for mayor a few years ago I put forward a proposal that the city should adopt what made this city, what this city is founded on — cattle, cowboys, logging, saw milling and a down to earth real native heritage.
For years most of the log hauling truck drivers grew up as cowboys, the City of Williams Lake has a brand; I named it the Capital of Western Heritage.
It seems the city now looks somewhat with envy to cities like Prince George as it calls itself the Hub of Resource Jobs, at Kamloops as the Adventure and Tournament Capital, at Merritt as the Country Music Capital, at Quesnel as Active Green and Connected, at Smithers as Artsy and Outdoorsy, and Revelstoke as Steep and Deep.
What the heck was wrong with calling Williams Lake the Capital of Western Heritage?
Oops, I forgot. We couldn’t call Williams Lake the Capital of Western Heritage. No high paid professional idiot put forward such a suggestion.
For goodness sakes how could I not recognize that?
Dodge City Kansas has no problem calling itself the Cowboy Capital; Oklahoma City has a theme park called Frontier City. Even New Jersey has a theme park called Wild West City, and how about Maryland’s Frontier Town, or Amarillo Texas blatantly calling itself Cowboy Town.
Fort Worth Texas, the 16th largest city in the U.S. proudly calls itself Cow Town.
And lastly, Canada’s city found most desirable to live in is Calgary, Alta., go figure.
With the developing Orient, one thing that stands out — the people from Asia have a great interest in North America’s Wild West heritage.
We are today successfully marketing Williams Lake lumber to China.
Our economic development initiative should be focused on attracting the Asian tourist to this town, to this city, to Williams Lake.
In my run for mayor I said at that time travelers on Highway 97 are destination oriented, that destination is somewhere either further up or down the road.
If Williams Lake wants to attract tourists Williams Lake has to market itself as a destination.
Branding Williams Lake as Canada’s Capital of Western Heritage would make Williams Lake such a desired destination.